Document Type : Original Article
Kothiwal Dental College & Research Centre, Moradabad, India
National Tobacco Control Program, Moradabad, India
Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
Background: Tobacco is one of the leading risk factors for many respiratory infections and is linked to the clinical severity of the disease. COVID-19 primarily infects the lungs and causes severe pneumonia-like illness. Tobacco consumption may thus, increase the risk for developing COVID-19. However, this study was planned to assess the tobacco consumption among COVID-19 patients and determine the relationship between SARS CoV-2 and tobacco use among COVID-19 patients.
Methods: Lists of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 positive patients aged 18-70 years were obtained from District Government Hospital on November 2020 and were interviewed telephonically after taking informed consent. A total of 470 patients under home isolation for the past one month after getting diagnosed with SARS CoV-2 were recruited in this study. Data was entered in MS Excel 2019 (Microsoft Corp.) and analysis was done using SPSS 25 (IBM Inc.). Chi-square and Fisher’s exact test were used and significance level was set 0.05 with 95% confidence interval.
Results: In the present study, the mean (standard deviation) age of participants was 37.8 (12.1) years. Among the COVID-19 patients, 21% of participants were tobacco users. Clinical symptoms such as fever, severe acute respiratory illness (SARI), acute respiratory illness (ARI), loss of taste/smell, and other symptoms such as body-ache, myalgia, nasal secretion and flue like symptoms were presented; of which most common symptoms were fever (26.8%) followed by SARI or ARI (11.5%) and significantly presented more among tobacco users (66.3%) than non-tobacco users (55.6%) (P = 0.036). Nonetheless smokers, these symptoms also affected significantly SLT users (64.8%) (P = 0.029) and dual tobacco users (100%) (P = 0.010).
Conclusion: Tobacco use may worsen COVID-19 disease symptoms among COVID-19 patients.